Information for the public

The oral bisphosphonate drugs alendronic acid, ibandronic acid and risedronate sodium are available on the NHS as possible treatments for people who have an increased risk of fracture because of osteoporosis.

The intravenous bisphosphonates ibandronic acid and zoledronic acid are available for people who have an even greater increased risk of fracture because of osteoporosis. They are also available for people who have an increased fracture risk and have problems taking oral bisphosphonates.

If you are not eligible for alendronic acid, ibandronic acid, risedronate sodium or zoledronic acid but are already having one of them, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. The decision support from NICE may help you decide and you can also read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2625-1

This page was last updated: 09 August 2017